Alumni Applause

Patrina Robinson Dace

April 23rd, 2018 by giving

Patrina Robinson Dace is a native of Georgetown, Mississippi.  She is the seventh of eight children (four girls and four boys) born to L.J. and Lula Lewis Robinson.  She attended Brushy Creek Headstart, Crystal Springs Elementary, Crystal Springs Junior High, and Crystal Springs High School.  She graduated from Crystal Springs High School in May of 1984 with honors. Patrina participated in numerous activities and received numerous accolades while in high school which included:  Student Council Reporter, Vice-President of Student Council, Beta Club Member, Year book Staff and Editor, Junior Homecoming Maid, Captain of the Cheerleading Team, Honor Student, and Most Beautiful.

Patrina received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Jackson State University in 1991 with Magna Cum Lade.  She completed a Master of Science in Teaching from Jackson State University in 1994 in General Science Education.  In 2008, Patrina received her CDA from the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program with endorsements in Infants and Toddlers and Preschool Education.

Patrina is married to Dr. Glen W. Dace II of Meridian, Mississippi. They are the proud parents of three daughters, Racolesha, Ramanda, Glendolyn, a son-in-law, Frederick, and two grandchildren, Kennedy and Kyler.  The Dace family reside in Terry, Mississippi and attend New Horizon International Church in Jackson, Mississippi. Patrina has served her church family for seventeen years and has been  a deaconess for fifteen years.  Patrina’s faith in Christ and desire to know Him has created a passion for serving others. Patrina is active in the community and is a member of: NCHI Jackson State Alumni Association, Jackson Chambers of Commerce, Minority Business Owner, Byram Chambers of Commerce, Mississippi Early Childhood Association and Southern Early Childhood and the Childcare Directors Association.

In August of 2003, Glen and Patrina opened Kaleidoscope of Learning Preschool and After School in Byram, Mississippi with a license capacity of 49.  Four years later, Glen and Patrina decided to build a new facility to accommodate ­the increasing demand for childcare in the Byram area.  The vision was clear, but much work was still to be done. Glen and Patrina worked full time professional jobs with a desire to open a new center.  In June 2007, Glen and Patrina’s hard work and diligence paid off, and a brand new facility was built with a license capacity of 150.  This business adventure was a major milestone for Glen and Patrina.   Our most significant accomplishment we have accomplished is being able to expand the business for a second time.  We are currently building a gymnasium to expand our after-school program.

Prior to becoming a fulltime employee at Kaleidoscope of Learning in April of 2008, Patrina served as Director of Environmental Microbiology for the Mississippi State Department of Public Health Laboratory.  She worked as a Laboratory Technologist for 11 years and a Division Director for 4 years. Patrina certifications included: Laboratory Evaluation Officer by FDA and Laboratory Certification Officer by EPA.  Patrina worked fifteen years for the Mississippi Department of Health and eight years in the Jackson Public School System. On December 31, 2013, after serving 25 years in Public Employee Retirement System of the State of Mississippi, she retired at the age of forty-six.  Patrina is currently a full time owner, operator, and director at Kaleidoscope of Learning Preschool and After School.  Patrina provides many years of business development and management experience to The Kaleidoscope of Learning Family.   Patrina is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, account management, hiring, budgeting, payroll, inventory, classroom management, and administrative duties.

Patrina has received several honor and awards: Congressional Record Award (July 2015), SBA Success Story Recipient (January 2017), and MBJ 2017 Leading Business in Mississippi.

Patrina’s is an advocate for childcare in Mississippi.  Patrina feels that every community should have affordable full-time childcare service for any social or ethnic group.  Patrina’s strong investment in Kaleidoscope initially began because she had to transport her own children from the suburbs to the city every day. Patrina one day decided that instead of making the families in her community drive for quality care, she would be the one to step up and provide it. It made good business sense as it also opened up many doors to be able to minister to families, by providing a loving, caring, and Christian environment to children, while their parents are away at work.   Since opening in 2003, many of our students have shown to perform at the top of their class. The first preschool children to start at Kaleidoscope are in high school now and are expected to graduate high school in 2019.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Kenneth Wayne Jones

March 12th, 2018 by giving

Kenneth Wayne Jones received his early education at Holy Child Jesus School and later graduated from Canton High School.  He then enrolled in Jackson State University, he received his BS & MS Degrees in Industrial Technology (Management), additionally, and he joined the United States Army Reserves as a Medical Specialist and retired as a Sergeant First Class after 24 years of service to his country. As a soldier he received numerous meritorious awards.  Kenny Wayne also received a certification in the prestigious Business Advantage Program from Millsaps College’s Else School of Management. 

Kenneth Wayne Jones was elected as an Alderman in the City of Canton where he served for 12 years, he was also elected as a MS State Senator and served for 8 years. As a Senator he was elected twice by his peers to serve as the Chairman of the MS Legislative Black Caucus. Kenny Wayne was featured in Ebony Magazine as a, “Leader of the Future,” and he has received the “Governor’s Award” for Community Service.  He is a member of the Masonic Order, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and countless other organizations. Recently Kenneth Wayne made history in his hometown of Canton, MS by becoming the first African American CEO of Canton Municipal Utilities. 

Kenneth Wayne “Kenny Wayne” Jones is a lifetime resident of Canton, MS. He is a member of Greater St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon. Kenny Wayne is married to the former Bobby Jenkins and they have two children, Kennedy, who is currently an Honor Society student at Jackson State University and William, a Freshman IB student at Jim Hill High School. Presently Kenny Wayne serves as the Business Development Coordinator for MS Quality Concepts, LLC.

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Larry D. Camper

March 9th, 2018 by giving

Larry D. Camper, the son of Doris L. Howell and Doffie T. Camper, was born on March 3, 1950 in Mendenhall, MS.  He spent his childhood between Brandon, MS and Chicago, IL.  In the early fifties, Camper and his mother returned from Chicago to live in Mississippi with his grandparents, Lenard and Bethel Howell.  Upon returning to Mississippi, he started school at Rose Hill Baptist Church and in May 1968, he graduated from McLaurin High School where he received several athletic awards, including being voted the best athlete in his senior year.

After high school, Camper began working for Mississippi Bank in Jackson, MS and was the first African American to work for a bank in Jackson in a position other than as a janitor. In the fall of 1968, he enrolled in Jackson State College and received a B.S. in Industrial Technology in 1972 while working for Mississippi Bank. After graduating from college, Camper enrolled in a management training program at the bank and after demonstrating an excellent work ethic that included a high level of professionalism, he was promoted to Bank Officer.

In December of 1973, Camper married his college sweetheart, Patricia A. Buchanan from Prentiss, MS, who also received her B.S. in Education in 1973 from Jackson State University.  Camper and Patricia share two wonderful children, LaTonya Rochell and LaDerek Rashad and a son-in law, Derrick Kirkland. LaTonya and LaDerek are also JSU alumni and LaDerek was chosen as a First Team All-American in baseball his junior and senior year at Jackson State University.

Always aspiring to achieve and succeed, Camper continued to work hard at the bank learning all he could.  In 1984, his drive and determination caused him to enroll in the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS to pursue a degree in Banking. Out of the 75 students enrolled in the program, Camper, again, succeeded as a first by being the only African American in this class to receive a banking degree in 1985.  After graduating from the University of Mississippi, he continued to move up the ranks at Mississippi Bank, holding several officer positions. After 35 years in banking and four bank mergers, Camper retired from Union Planters Bank as a Senior Vice President. In January 2004, Camper was offered a position with the Hinds County Tax Collector’s office in Jackson, MS as the Assistant Tax Collector and Operations Manager where he continues to serve in this capacity.

Over the last 35 years, Camper continued his excellent work in the community from his affiliation with several community, social and professional organizations, including, Leadership Jackson graduate (1999); Vice President, West Jackson CDC; Chairman of the Board of Directors, Capitol City Classic (Jackson, MS); Minority Business Development Loan Board (City of Jackson); Mississippi Bankers Association; Urban Financial Service Coalition; JSU National Alumni Association; Jackson Metro Housing Project; and Education Committee Member for Metro Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Life Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and member of New Hope Baptist Church located on Watkins Drive.

During his professional career, Camper also received numerous community awards and special honors, including “Outstanding Young Man of America” (1979 and 1985); and the Public Service Honor Award.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Lawrence Evans

February 22nd, 2018 by giving

Lawrence Evans is a New York based actor and casting consultant. He currently serves as Celebrity Coordinator for the National Black Theatre Festival.  Regional theatre credits include: Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity, Fences (Triad Stage), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse), The Exonerated, One Man, Two Guvnors, Ruined (Florida Studio Theatre), Clybourne Park, A Soldier’s Play, (Arkansas Repertory Theatre) Rip.Tied (freeFall Theatre), Take Me Out (Caldwell Theatre Company), Charlotte Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Black Repertory Company, Short North Stage. New York theatre credits: Black Stars of the Great White Way (Carnegie Hall), In a Clean House, Willie, Flat Street Sa’Day Nite, Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man. National tours: And Still I Rise, (written and directed by Maya Angelou), The Sweet Spot with Clifton Davis and Ja’Net DuBois, Camp Logan. Television:  “All My Children,” “Another World,” “Ryan’s Hope,” “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order.” Film: “State Property II,” “The Devil Wears Prada.”  He studied theatre at Jackson State University and the University of Michigan.


New Federal Theatre: In White America, The Most Dangerous Man in America (W.E.B. DuBois), Accept "Except" LGBT NY, The Fabulous Miss Marie, In the Wine Time, Plenty of Time, Sowa's Red Gravy, Court-Martial at Fort Devens, Puberty Rites, Cool Blues, Knock Me a Kiss, Kernel of Sanity,The Toilet, "Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam,"  Amarie, real black men don't sit crosslegged on the floor, The Taking of Miss Janie, Gutta Beautiful, Josh: The Black Babe Ruth, Satchel: A Requiem for Racism, Sweet Mama Stringbean; National Black Touring Circuit: Waitin' 2 End Hell; Billie Holiday Theatre: Maid's Door, Fati's Last Dance, The Waiting Room, The Right Reverend Dupree in Exile, What Would Jesus Do?, Losing the Light, Birthright; TheatreWorks Colorado Springs: Seven Guitars; Negro Ensemble Company: Martin: A New American Musical, Sundown Names and Night-Gone Things, With Aaron's Arms Around Me; Black Spectrum Theatre Company: Single Black Female; August Strindberg Repertory Theatre: Easter, Playing With Fire;  Juneteenth Legacy Theatre: Diana Sands, Billy, Lena and the Duke, Juneteenth Blues Cabaret, August Wilson's Women.


AUDELCO Nominating Committee
Actors’ Equity Association
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
Canaan Baptist Church of Christ, Harlem, NY
Metro New York Chapter/JSU National Alumni Association
National Black Theatre Festival
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)


Posted in Alumni Applause

Dr. Barrett Hatches

February 5th, 2018 by giving

Dr. Barrett Hatches is an accomplished senior executive with over 35 years of experience in management, to include extensive work in the energy and healthcare sectors.

Dr. Hatches currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Chicago Family Health Center (CFHC). In this position, he leads one of Chicago’s leading federally qualified health centers that provides care annually to over 30,000 uninsured and underinsured patients across the South Side of Chicago through its network of five primary care health centers, dental offices, and behavioral health services. Prior to joining CFHC Dr. Hatches provided leadership and directed operations in a multitude of executive positions: within SCE, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President—Business Growth, and President/ CEO of Swope Health Services, a non-profit healthcare system.

Dr. Hatches previously served as President and CEO of Swope Health Services in Kansas City, MO, a non-profit federally qualified health center with 400 plus associates and clinics located throughout a five-county area in Missouri and Kansas. He was responsible for providing services to over 40,000 unduplicated patients with over 227,000 encounters in primary health care, behavioral health, dental, and outreach services.

Within the energy sector, Dr. Hatches has provided visionary leadership as President/ CEO of four Gas and/or Electric Companies. He served as President/CEO of Northern Indiana Public Service Company, while also serving as CEO of Northern Indiana Fuel and Light Company, and Kokomo Gas and Fuel Company, in Indiana. He was President/CEO of ENSTAR Natural Gas in Anchorage, AK, and served in senior management positions at SEMCO Energy, and Western Resources Gas Service Division.

He is the owner of Hatches Consulting, LLC which focuses on leadership development, performance technology, organizational and professional development, community relations and stakeholder management, executive coaching, business development, strategic planning and thinking, relationship management, financial development and performances, and customer service.

Dr. Hatches works with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), providing technical assistance to health centers. He also serves as keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for many conferences on healthcare issues across the country. In addition to this, he provides webinars on healthcare topics along with providing technical assistance to healthcare CEOs around the country. As a catalyst for change he continues to work within his community as well as with local, state, and federal policy makers in focusing on healthcare and healthcare reform.

Dr. Hatches is a 1977 graduate of Jackson State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science, a 1995 graduate of Webster University with a Masters of Arts in Management, and a 2009 graduate of Jackson State University with a Ph.D. in Urban Leadership and Higher Education. He and his wife Ann have one daughter, C’Nea.

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Honorable George Flaggs, Jr.

January 19th, 2018 by giving

The Honorable George Flaggs, Jr. is in his second term as mayor of the City of Vicksburg, MS. He first took the oath of office on June 30, 2013. In a six person race, Mayor Flaggs took 51.11% of the vote to win the Democratic Primary. One month later, Mayor Flaggs won the general election with 72% of the vote. Four years later, in the Democratic primary, he won with nearly 70% of the vote. Then, on June 6, 2017, George Flaggs defeated two challengers by garnering 79% of the vote to win re-election as Mayor of the City of Vicksburg for a second term.

Mayor Flaggs received an Associate of Arts Degree in Industrial Technology from Hinds Community College in 1981. He later received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology from Jackson State University in 1984. He was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, elected 1988. He served as Chair of the Corrections Committee and served on several committees including, Appropriations, Banking and Financial Services, Constitution, Legislative Budget Committee, Public Health and Human Services and Rules.

Mayor Flaggs is affiliated with Wisemen Toastmasters and Optimist Clubs. He is a former member of the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Mayor Flaggs was born March 20, 1953, in Edwards, Mississippi. He is married to Valencia Renee. They have three children: Emmarie Genean, Brittany Anquinette, and Elliott George. The mayor also has four grandchildren: Nicholas George Anderson, Stephen Anderson Addison Anderson, and Lianne Marie Flaggs. Mayor Flaggs is of the Baptist faith.

In 2013, the mayor received The Network Distinguished Service & Leadership Award, The AT&T Business Advocate Award, and The Charles L. Young, Sr. Memorial Award – Mississippi Action for Progress. Also in 2013, Mayor Flaggs was the Grand Marshall for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and the Christmas Parade of Lights, both in the City of Vicksburg, as well as the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade Celebration in the City of Jackson, MS. Also in 2014, Mayor Flaggs was appointed to the Governor’s Council of Mayors by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, and was selected by the readers of the Vicksburg Post newspaper as the 2014 Best Elected Public Official. In 2015, Mayor Flaggs has been awarded The Reverend Henry L. Mayfield Community Service Award and the Magnolia Bar Association Harriet Tubman Award. Also in 2015, Mayor Flaggs was appointed a board member to the Willard Tyler, Sr. School of the Performing Arts; the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center; and the Jackson State University Institute of Government’s Advisory Board. He was also named by the Delta Business Journal as one of their 2015 Top Minorities. In 2016, Mayor Flaggs was selected as a winner of the MS Top 50 Most Influential award. In 2017, Mayor Flaggs has been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors to the Hinds Community College Foundation for a 3-year term beginning in January 2018.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Tiffany R. Paige, Esq.

September 27th, 2017 by giving

Tiffany R. Paige (’02) was recently named Assistant Dean for Students Services at Mississippi College School of Law.  She previously served in the areas of diversity outreach and recruitment. Paige, who grew up in Raymond, Miss., majored in Biology. She received her law degree from Mississippi College School of Law and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Southern Mississippi. Paige is currently working on a Doctor of Philosophy degree in higher education administration at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a member of the Byram-Terry Alumni Chapter.

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Earline Russell-Smith

August 28th, 2017 by giving

Holmes Community College Workforce Coordinator and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Director Earline Russell-Smith was recently named district director of Adult Education/GED for the college.

"With all the changes in Adult Basic Educated mandated by changes in federal workforce legislation, I believe that Earline's experience with the Workforce Investment system in Mississippi will be invaluable in this time of transition," said Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. Mike Blankenship. "Earline also brings a desire to help people which is very important with the population served through Adult Basic Education."

Russell-Smith has worked with the Federal Workforce programs and Workforce Development since 1999. She also served as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) grant coordinator for the college. Holmes is one of five community colleges in the state participating in the grant program, which has given more than 3,000 SNAP (formerly called food stamps) recipients the opportunity to receive training and get a degree as part of a three-year pilot program. Russell-Smith increased the number of students obtaining financial aid grants for the college through WIOA and SNAPS, and SNAPS grant enrollment has doubled from the previous years.

Russell-Smith has also coordinated and promoted workforce training classes for the Yazoo Educational Center, Attala Center and Goodman Campus. She evaluated instructor's performances and the effectiveness of training programs, making recommendations to ensure all training needs were met.

Additionally, Russell-Smith served on the Work Ready Community Board for Holmes and Attala County, and prepared and managed workforce projects – including budgets – through the Mississippi Community College Board accountability system. She is also responsible for designing and implementing the Youth Workforce Academy, which engaged at-risk youth with soft skills and work experience to improve their employability. The program was used as a model for other youth programs in the Delta area.

"I'm excited that Earline is joining the Adult Education team as our District Director!" said Career Path Specialist Bronwyn Robertson. "It's as though she's been a part of us all along and this only makes it official. I have always found her to consistently exceed expectations in her interpersonal skills, support of staff and work ethic. I've had the opportunity to work with Earline on several projects and I also know her personally; she never fails to impress me with her positive attitude and encouragement. I am delighted that I'll be working with her again."

Prior to her employment with Holmes in July 2005, she worked as a workforce specialist with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and as an educator with Chicago public schools.

A native of the Acona Community in Lexington, Russell-Smith currently resides in Coila. She earned her bachelor's degree in education from Jackson State University and her master's in education from Capella University. Russell-Smith is a member of Steele Chapel Independent Methodist Church where she serves as choir director and a youth leader. She and her husband, Holmes alumnus Prentiss Smith, have three children: Prentiss Jr., Trentiss and Erin. Prentiss Jr. is also a Holmes alum, Trentiss is a senior at J.Z. George High School and Erin is in eighth grade at George Middle.

For more information about the Holmes Adult Education/GED program, contact Russell-Smith at or (662) 472.9105. 

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Justin Hardiman

July 6th, 2017 by giving

Earlier this year, Justin Hardiman’s vibrant pictures of models at a natural hair show produced in part by Solange Knowles set the internet ablaze. Viewers had no idea who took the shots, but Hardiman doesn't seem to mind.

His focus is on displaying the many facets of black women and not a one-dimensional sexualized version that he feels is prominent in the fashion industry.





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Chauncey Citchens

July 6th, 2017 by giving

Congratulations to Chauncey Citchens on the release of her first book, "Meet McKenzie Mason"! In 2015 when her niece, McKenzie, asked for books for Christmas, Citchens was overjoyed that her niece shared the same interest in reading that she did as a child. Unfortunately, Citchens was unable to find a variety of books that featured black girls as leading characters. This was a challenge she also remembered facing as a child.

Inspired and determined to give her niece a story with a lead character she could identify with, Citchens picked up her childhood hobby of writing and wrote a story with her niece as the main character. What originally started as a story for just her niece, quickly turned into a full-on project when family and friends encouraged her to publish the book. Citchens hopes Meet McKenzie Mason will play a part in diversifying children’s books. She believes there is extreme value in children seeing characters, as well as authors, who look like them.

Meet McKenzie Mason is available on Amazon:

Posted in Alumni Applause